Tonight, as I sat with SkinnyBitch on our couch, chatting about our weekends and life in general, the power went out. She was on my netbook, which gave her form a soft glow. I, however, was surrounded by darkness. I freaked, frantically trying to find the flashlight app on my iPhone. The power was back on in less than a minute. I silently cursed myself for not having my actual flashlight near me.
I am afraid of the dark. I think this is an obvious fact; if you have read some on my erotica, I’m sure you’ve noted a few of my characters share this trait. And though I know logically this is a part of me, I don’t often acknowledge to myself how deep my fear goes.
I don’t sleep in the dark. Ever. For most of my life I slept with a television on, a practice I learned from my mother. College forced me to change this habit, briefly, as my roommates did not appreciate the distraction as they slept. I used the sleep function on my computer to scroll photos, providing myself a light source at night that wasn’t terribly inconvenient for all others involved. However, as soon as I got my own room, I again went back to leaving the television on throughout the evening.
As I’ve developed in my adult life, I’ve transitioned away from having a television in my room and adapted to just having some light source available as I sleep.
Music has also been a soothing balm to my fear. With a soft glow and random rock songs from the local station, I’m good to go each night.
My fear of the dark extends beyond just my sleep habits. Each night, when walking through the house, I keep myself in a cone of light. I transition from room to room, flipping switches as I go.
The hardest part of each evening is the half dozen steps from my bathroom to my bedroom. We don’t leave the hallway light on, or any other lights in the house. I leave my door open, my destination a beacon for my trek.
I scurry rather quickly, trying not to be too loud, hoping the roommates don’t notice I am running because of what is behind me or what might pop out beside me. I close my door quickly, locking out whatever monster might have almost snatched me tonight.
There have been exceptions to my fear. They always involved other people.
I’ve slept in the dark when someone is cuddled up next to me. Though my brain still ventured to it’s scary place, it was easier to pull back to safer sane imaginings with another’s flesh anchoring me to my present. When venturing down dark halls, if I am surrounded by people they provide a natural human shield. And since I sometimes work in theatre, I have acclimated myself to surviving occasional blackouts.
Eventually I want to play with my fear. I know, of all the things someone could do to me, this would be the biggest mindfuck possible. But I also know it would require an extremely high level of trust and understanding. This is very much a long term project.
So, what are you afraid of?
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